Author Spotlight: Angela Roquet

Angela Roquet is an international bestselling author. Some of the books to her name include the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Series, Crazy Ex-Ghoulfriend, Blood Moon and more. She is also a member/founder of the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse book critique group. What an honor to have such a prestigious writer! Welcome and thank you for joining us.

Thanks for inviting me!  : )

GRAVEYARD SHIFT is the first novel in the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series.  It is FREE on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, & more. I recently reviewed GRAVEYAR SHIFT on Goodreads. It is a comical and delicious take on Reapers and the afterlife.

  1. Tell us a bit about Graveyard Shift and the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Series.

Graveyard Shift marks the beginning of Lana’s adventures in Limbo City, the capital of my fictional version of the afterlife, where deities of all faiths are forced to co-exist, much like we try to do here in the real world. We meet Lana at the end of a long stretch of peace, when a disgruntled deity begins to stir up a war. Lana’s just a low-risk soul harvester at Reapers Inc., and she doesn’t quite see her place in the grand scheme of things yet, but she’s getting there.

  1. Who is your favorite character from the first book?

I have a soft spot for the archangel Gabriel. He’s the best friend who just wants to have a good time. He doesn’t really have many expectations of Lana, so she can relax around him. He’s always up for a John Wayne marathon or a beer at Purgatory Lounge. Everyone needs a friend like that.

  1. What can’t that character live without?

His comfy, tattered drawstring pants, a case of Ambrosia Ale, and a bag of Cheetos.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your journey as an author.

As a young teen, I aspired to write for Disney or Cartoon Network, and I had notebooks full of scripts for shows I wanted to create. An English teacher my junior year of high school read one of those scripts and suggested I turn it into a novel. So from 17 to 21 I wrote my first novel. It was a fair deal harder than writing a script, but it was also more fun—even though that book was pretty terrible. It was also waaay too long, I found out after shopping it around to a few agents. At that point, I knew it was time to research the industry, and a few false starts later, I began writing Graveyard Shift.

  1. What do you love most about being an author?

Working from home in my PJs. Pretty sure my patronus is a hermit. It’s not that I don’t like people—I love social media, and I enjoy signings and conventions from time to time—I just really enjoy my solitude too. Also, no makeup, no bra, and I can listen to whatever weird music or background noise I want to. (Right now I’m loving this YouTube track that sounds like a creaky old pirate ship: https://youtu.be/3RTjHwJXxkA )

  1. What do you dislike most about being an author?

Deadlines. Does anyone like those? As an indie author, I set them for myself, but they still suck. Big time.

  1. Do you ever have moments of self-doubt or novel-doubt?

I’m pretty confident in my abilities as a writer—though I have to thank my lovely readers for that. The online reviews and emails I receive go a really long way in the confidence department. There’s always room to grow and something new to learn, but I don’t find that cause for self-doubt. That’s just part of life. The most exciting part, I think.

  1. Are there any unpublished manuscripts you have created? Will you ever publish them?

I think most writers have a well of lost plots they’d rather not revisit, and I’m no exception. lol. But there are a couple stories I’ve considered going back and revising. In fact, that very first, very terrible novel I wrote has found its way into my 5-year plan. I think I’m going to restructure it and break it up into a trilogy.

  1. Is there any piece of advice you would offer to other authors?

It’s the same thing almost every author says, but for good reason: READ. Read everything. Read books on writing, books in your genre, books in genres outside your comfort zone, nonfiction books, articles and blogs about books and about writing and about publishing… There is nothing that will help you more as an author than becoming a well-rounded reader.

  1. What would you like to tell or ask of your readers?

I’m pretty happy with my readers. I really can’t ask more of them. They leave online reviews, they email the kindest messages, and they tell their friends about my books. So I guess the only thing to tell them, which I do as often as possible, is thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  1. What couldn’t you live without?

My family. First and foremost. My husband and son are my favorite people in the world, and I love spending time with them. If this is more of a “What would you take with you on a deserted island?” sort of questions, then I’d say a LifeStraw. But if there’s a fully stocked cabana nearby, then I’ll go with my Kindle. I really love having millions of books at my fingertips and still being able to travel light. It makes me feel like Merlin in the Sword in the Stone, with his magic suitcase.

  1. What is your favorite food?

Sushi with heaps of pickled ginger.

  1. If you could go back in time and meet anyone, who would it be?

Hmmm. I think the Byzantine Empress Theodora. I’ve always seen her as the original Cinderella, a true rags to riches story, but so much more than that. It would be interesting to see which version of her presented by historians was most accurate.

  1. Where can people find your books?

On Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords—and a few other digital retailers. If you prefer physical books, they can be ordered through most bookstores, though I also sell autographed copies online here: https://squareup.com/store/limbocitygiftshop

  1. How can people contact and learn more about you?

I’m pretty active on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/adroquet but I also reply to readers via email too angela@angelaroquet.com  and if you’d like to know more about me and my books, you can find all of that on my website http://www.angelaroquet.com

  1. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks again for having me on your blog, and happy reading to everyone checking out Graveyard Shift for free. Hope you enjoy Lana’s adventures! 🙂

Author Spotlight: Becca Andre

Author Becca Andre joins me today. She has an interesting history: chemist, mother, wife and author. Ms. Andre recently released The Catalyst of Corruption, the fourth book of her wildly exciting, alchemy filled paranormal fantasy series.

Let me start by thanking you for this opportunity. Your series, The Final Formula has been inspirational and so much fun to read.

I understand The Final Formula series arose out of an exercise to write what you know. Your website offered a bit about your history, and it sounds like you have been writing for quite a while. Could you tell me a bit more about some of the key moments that helped you mature as a writer?

Becca: Yes, I have been writing for quite a while.  Decades, actually.  But for most of that time, writing was just a hobby.  Something I did to amuse myself with no serious thoughts toward publication.  Sure, I entertained the occasional fantasy about being a full-time writer, but I never pursued it—until I wrote The Final Formula.

As you mentioned, The Final Formula arose from a write-what-you-know exercise where I took my everyday world and gave it a magical twist.  I’m a chemist, so I made my main character an alchemist, and set my story in our modern world.  I really liked the finished product and for the first time, I wanted to share what I had written.

Since I live in a small town and didn’t know anyone else who wrote, I joined an online workshop.  I would credit that as the best thing I did on my journey to becoming an author.  By getting feedback on what I had written and learning to critique other writers, I began to see what worked and what didn’t.  I also made some great friends who I still rely on to beta-read for me.

All your characters are so interesting and well crafted. What process do you follow to create them?

I’m not the kind of writer who uses character sheets or writes loads of backstory about their characters before starting a story.  My characters are my story, and the two come into being by playing off each other.  Often, I’ll start with a character in a situation, or a pair of characters and build the story from there. The key is to work in conflict right from the start.  If I start with two characters, they’re going to be on opposite sides of an issue, or their personality types will naturally conflict.  Take Addie and Rowan for example.  She’s headstrong and confident, and he’s a control freak.  Throw them in a situation where they both think they’re right and…fireworks!

I do think there are some necessary skills that every writer should to develop in order to create believable characters that come to life on the page.  Two key components are natural sounding dialogue and portraying emotions honestly (no melodrama!).  The easiest way I find to do this is to put my characters in a situation and let them react.  When it feels like I’m just the scribe and they’re telling the story, I know it’s working.

 How many more books can we expect in The Final Formula series?

The plan for The Final Formula Series is five novels with a novella between each.  This is a slightly different take on the typical series format.  The novellas are part of the overall story, but they are told from a different point of view than the main novels.  Unfortunately, shorter works aren’t as popular with readers, so I can’t do as much with the novellas as I would like.

Published works require more than just an author. What sort of team members do you have to help you reach the final point of publishing a work?

Once I complete the first draft, I send it out for a couple rounds of beta-reads.  The first readers are fellow writers (whose work I beta-read in turn).  As writers themselves, they’re great at spotting problems with plot, pacing, and other places where I fall short in the craft department.  I address their concerns, then send the draft out to a second group of beta readers.  These folks tend to be avid readers and/or grammar junkies.  They’re great at catching my mistakes with story details, logic, and general grammatical shortcomings.  Once I fix all those problems, the book goes to my awesome editor, Shelley Holloway who fixes everything that’s left.  Finally, the gang over at Streetlight Graphics does my formatting and cover art (they also designed my website).

It sounds like you have quite a team! What do you love most about being an author?

Not having to leave the house?  😉  Seriously, my favorite part is interacting with readers.  It’s so cool that other people enjoy hanging out with my imaginary friends as much as I do.

What is the most important piece of advice you have for other writers and authors?

Write every day and once you feel comfortable with sharing what you’ve written, seek out feedback.  And by feedback, I mean from someone other than your mom or significant other.  Preferably other writers who are serious about their craft

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

 Caffeine.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Do I have to pick just one place?  I love to travel.  It’s been our family goal to visit all fifty states here in the USA.  So far, Hubby and I have 48, and the kids have 46.  Outside mown country, I would love to see some of the famous landmarks/cities the world over.  Places that are geographically interesting or places that are steeped in history.  The list is endless.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

I don’t watch much TV, although my son and I watch Ghost Adventures most weekends.  My favorite movie would have to be Pride & Prejudice – the 1995 BBC/A&E miniseries.  It’s a great adaptation of my favorite novel.

How can readers get their hands on The Final Formula series?

The Final Formula Series is available at most online retailers.  The first book, The Final Formula is free.

Last question. What is the best way for folks to get in touch with you?

Visit my website BeccaAndre.com, my Facebook page, or find me on Twitter   @AddledAlchemist.

Thank you Becca. It has been a pleasure getting to know you!

Thanks for having me, Catherine!

Well, that is all for now folks. I seriously recommend Becca’s books. I could not put them down. Take care out there!